This is the third part of my talk about learning to meditate using the heart meditation technique, so if you’re just tuning in to my podcast/blog it would be best to go back two episodes and start there. In the previous Heart Meditation episode I talked about about what happens when you run into your emotions, on the way to your spiritual heart. This episode I’ll be talking about the practice itself, and how to begin.
Learning To Meditate Is About Reconditioning
The first and most important thing to practice is simply getting quiet, becoming receptive, and listening. This in itself is a huge piece of discipline that most of us find very challenging, and it’s the piece we most need. We’re not used to sitting quietly and just being receptive, we’re used to either daydreaming, or being entertained, or being active. That’s how we spend 99 percent of our time. And we’re especially not used to the part about being receptive, because we much prefer being in control of things. Being in control, or feeling like we’re in control, makes us feel safe. Being open and receptive, at least at first, can make us feel a little uncomfortable, because we’re not used to it.
So, a good practice is to sit quietly, assume that love, God, and all the good things in the universe are watching, relax, and be open. Take the attitude that you are being loved right now. And here’s a tip. Follow your breathing. Just focus in your heart, and following your breathing, in, and out, all the while assuming that you are being seen and loved from the inside, and from the outside. If you’d like to do one more thing to be a little busier, you can say the word God when you breathe in, and the word love when you breathe out. If you don’t like the word God, substitute another word, like nature, or peace, or whatever represents love, safety, and higher support to you.
You could do that much, just focus in your heart, watch your breath, and say a two word mantra like god and love, a half hour every day for the rest of your life, and it would be a terrific meditation practice. I would recommend it. It’s not easy, though because it’s so simple. Simple things are very challenging to our ego and intellect. Those two want to get all involved in it and make it more complex, entertaining, challenging, and distracting. And that’s the opposite of what you’re looking for in meditation. So if you can keep it simple, you’re ahead of the game.
What can you expect to happen if you do this? Well ideally, you wouldn’t put any expectation on it at all, and you’d just do it. Again, that would be simple, and challenging. But one thing you can be fairly certain to have happen is that as soon as you focus in your heart and get quiet, you’ll find yourself thinking and be back up in your head. It happens to the best of us. We’re so used to being in that intellect, that our system is trained to go there whenever we’re able to. So what we have to do is begin to retrain ourselves. When you recognize you’re thinking, just follow your breathing and drop back into your heart. That’s it. That’s all you do. If you meditate for a half hour, you might go through that same process, oh, about 60 times. That’s about twice a minute. That might be average for starters. Your milage may vary. But it’s a practice, and you’re practicing learning how to stay focused in your heart. Like all great things, it’s worth doing some work to achieve. After a while, your system will start to get the idea that you’re serious about this heart thing, and will let you stay in your heart for longer and longer periods of time. If you’re a bit ADD, as I am, this process may be quite challenging. But worth it, in my experience. Try it for a while, and you’ll see.
In the next episode I hope to talk a bit about the input you might begin to receive by some guides, spiritual figures and the like. In the mean time, I can suggest that you check out the program I developed called Heart Meditations, as well as one called Sanctuary of Peace. They’re both audio courses that help you get into the meditation practice more easily, with some guidance as you’re going in. You can find both of them at TheHealingWaterfall.com.